Labor Department Extends Grant for Laid Off Silicon Valley Workers

by Morgan Lynch | Meritalk
Published: April 25, 2017


The Department of Labor gave the NOVA Workforce Board more than $1.6 million last week to continue its effort to provide re-employment and training services to workers affected by layoffs and closures at 70 companies in Silicon Valley.

California technology companies plan to cut about 2,000 jobs early in 2017. The Silicon Valley technology industry’s annual job growth decreased to 3.5 percent, or 26,700 new jobs, in 2016. This compares to the 6 percent annual gain of 42,300 jobs in 2015, and the 6.4 percent gain in 2014.

California technology companies plan to cut about 2,000 jobs early in 2017. Oracle planned to eliminate 441 jobs in Santa Clara. NetApp planned to cut 160 jobs in Sunnyvale, Google planned to cut 94 jobs in Mountain View, and AOL planned to cut 80 jobs in San Jose.

Last year Microsoft announced that it would eliminate 1,850 jobs due to its failed Nokia acquisition, Twitter announced that it would lay off 350 employees, and Intel announced that it would cut 12,000 jobs by mid-2017.

The DOL approved a National Dislocated Worker Grant award for up to $3.2 million for the NOVA Workforce Board in February 2016. The workforce board received $1,539,570 initially and is now receiving the rest of the grant money.

The NOVA Workforce Board provides career advising, job search workshops, access to job postings, technology for job searches, computer training, services for veterans, and assistive technologies to people in the Silicon Valley region of California.

“The increase in tech-sector job cuts comes amid a time of growth and volatility,” John Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a report. “Traditionally stalwart companies have transformed to compete with startups that seemingly instantly become major players.”

However, the technology sector is still one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty pledged in December to hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years within the United States. Prior to this announcement, IBM had been scaling back on its U.S. workforce.

“It is likely this kind of job cutting will continue in 2017, as new technologies cause tech giants to shift and pivot,” Challenger said. “The challenge for these companies, as it has always been, will be finding the skilled labor to keep up with the pace of change. The president’s plan to reform access to work visas may significantly impact how tech companies recruit and retain talent."